Time: 117 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, offensive language, drug use, sex scenes & content that may disturb.
Ewan McGregor as Mark “Rent Boy” Renton
Ewen Bremner as Daniel “Spud” Murphy
Jonny Lee Miller as Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson
Robert Carlyle as Francis “Franco” Begbie
Kevin McKidd as Tommy MacKenzie
Kyle Fitzpatrick as Fergus
Elek Kish as Dozo
Bradley Welsh as Mr Doyle
Kelly Macdonald as Diane Coulston
Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika Kovach
Director: Danny Boyle
First there was an opportunity, then there was a betrayal. Twenty years later, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place that he can ever call home. There waiting for him are old buddies Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, love, fear, regret, self-destruction and mortal danger are also all lined up and ready to welcome him.
I only recently saw the original Trainspotting, it was definitely a unique movie, especially with its style and direction. 21 years later, director Danny Boyle and the cast from the original returned to deliver a sequel with these returning characters. A lot of sequels decades in the making don’t live up to the hype, it didn’t seem necessary to create a sequel, Trainspotting of all films definitely didn’t need a sequel. However, T2: Trainspotting was really pulled off well and now I’m glad they actually decided to go ahead with a sequel. Everyone returns to deliver a worthy sequel that is at the very least at the level of the original.
The issue that this film could face is that it could end up being a total departure or just a repeat and rehash of the original. Fortunately that’s not what happened here, it is new enough while still feeling like a Trainspotting movie. It really does feel like a continuation of the Trainspotting story, it definitely helped that John Dodge, the writer of the original film wrote the sequel as well. The film deals with addiction and other themes in a different way than the original. It doesn’t focus as much as drugs as the original, the issues that these characters are going through are more existential and a lot different. It handles everything overall in a more darker and mature way. You won’t see sequences that are absolutely bonkers like the toilet scene in the original. However, it is still full of that crazy energy from the original, just used in a different way. It is also very funny but its also very emotional too, it really balances everything out all things considering. I don’t really have many issues with the film to be honest.
The characters from the original film, Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie return, with Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle reprising their respective roles. They feel just like their characters, just 20 years older and they continue to share incredible chemistry. Most of the characters haven’t changed, Renton is the only one who has made a significant change since the end of the original film. We do also get to see more insight into their characters and their lives, the treatment of the characters was quite good. As I said previously, everyone is great here, but if there was a standout I’d say it is Spud, who has a surprisingly emotional story in T2. A new character is Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika, Sick Boy’s girlfriend. She does a really great job in her scenes, having great chemistry with Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner. She also does very well at standing out amongst the four main characters, she definitely needs to be in more movies.
Danny Boyle returns to direct the sequel and really he’s the only person who should’ve directed a Trainspotting sequel. Boyle was once again great, he’s clearly evolved with his filmmaking style. He has combined his new filmmaking style with the style that he used back in 1996 with the original Trainspotting. You don’t get crazy visuals like the original with sequences like the toilet and the baby and others, not necessarily a bad thing, in fact the visual style is great for the story. The style is perfect, with the camerawork, editing and the framing being excellently done. It still has an erratic feeling to it that fits perfectly. The soundtrack in the original Trainspotting was great and that’s the same for the sequel, it fitted the movie and scenes so incredibly well.
The sequel to Trainspotting was the best it possibly could’ve been with its great script, the returning cast and Danny Boyle’s excellent direction. While they are at similar levels of quality, I personally liked Trainspotting 2 slightly more than the original. The best thing I can say is that it’s a perfect continuation of the story. If you liked the original film, I recommend at least checking out the sequel. Even if you might not consider it as good as the original, it’s still very close to be as good as the original. T2: Trainspotting was surprisingly great and one of my favourite films of the year.